If I had to guess, I would say that I have imagined my own death more times than the average person. Not as much as say, Edgar Allan Poe, or other such Goths, but still, a lot, especially for the happy, well adjusted person I like to think I am. Where the preoccupation comes from, I have no idea, but for as long as I can remember, even back to my early childhood, it is not uncommon for me to space out during whatever I am doing and imagine some form of my own unpleasant demise.
Back before car seats were a mandatory expense to
parents, my mom would let me curl up like a cat on the floor in front of the
passenger seat. Lying there, surprisingly comfortable in the small space, I
would imagine head-on collisions that would push the dashboard to the seat
leaving me trapped, assuming I survived the initial impact, like a sardine in a
can, until I finally suffocated.
We got a trampoline in my youth and I imagined
breaking my neck a variety of ways. The most common involved me doing a back
flip, sticking my head between the springs as my body continued backward over
the bar as my neck finally succumbed to the pressure and would snap.
While mountain biking I’d imagine wrecks that would
leave me broken, bloodied, and paralyzed. But in my mind the wreck never killed
me. Death came later as I tried to pull myself to safety; usually being eaten by
wolves or a bear. (After I watched the movie, Deliverance, the wild animals were substituted by back-woods
hillbillies that would eat me only after robbing me of my virtue.)
No matter what the scenario, it’s usually long and
detailed. And since I’ve never sat down with a psychologist and explained the
fixation I’ve never learned if it’s either abnormal or unhealthy. I’ve just
always assumed that since I’m a functioning member of society and I have no
desire to harm myself that this violent imagery doesn’t put me in any high-risk
psychological categories. Maybe it’s an asset. Maybe when I do finally meet my
end I’ll be able to say, while drifting away from my lifeless body, “I saw that
coming from a mile away.” Unless, of course, I die of old age. That would totally come out of left field.
Just out of curiosity, have you ever thought about
it? If so, how to you meet your end?